DustBusters reduce pollution, wind erosion: Though difficult to achieve, revegetation is best way to stabilize soil
AuthorsDavid A. Grantz
David L. Vaughn
Robert J. Farber
Authors AffiliationsD.A. Grantz is Plant Physiologist and Extension Air Quality Specialist; D.L. Vaughn is Staff Research Associate, Department of Botany and Plant Sciences and Statewide Air Pollution Research Center, UC Riverside; R.J. Farber is Senior Research Scientist, Environmental Research Division, Southern California Edison Company, Rosemead; B. Kim is Air Quality Specialist, South Coast Air Quality Management District, Diamond Bar; T. VanCuren is Air Pollution Research Specialist, California Environmental Protection Agency-California Air Resources Board, Sacramento; R. Campbell is District Conservationist, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Lancaster; D. Bainbridge is Environmental Studies Coordinator, United States International University; T. Zink is Program Manager, Soil Ecology and Restoration Group, Department of Biology, San Diego State University.
Hilgardia 52(4):8-13. DOI:10.3733/ca.v052n04p8. July 1998.
Surface disturbance in arid regions — whether it results from abandoned agriculture, overgrazing or recreational activities — often sets the stage for windblown fugitive dust. Revegetation provides the most sustainable soil stabilization but is difficult to achieve in any given year. Widely varying environmental conditions and soil factors make direct seeding unreliable, and transplanting of nursery-grown shrubs does not assure plant establishment, even with supplemental irrigation. In occasional years plants can be successfully established, particularly Atriplex canescens, in the western Mojave Desert. Once vegetation becomes established, it successfully stabilizes the soil surface and reduces blowing dust. However, because successful establishment is infrequent, reliable mitigation of fugitive dust requires that other techniques be used as well.
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